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APD: Man set fire to his apartment to escape neighbors’ sex noises

Reuben Cook, 36

COOK: Stroke left him mentally impaired, father says

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man seeking to escape the sounds of his neighbors having sex took drastic action Sunday night when he set fire to his apartment, according to court documents.

Reuben Cook, 36, told police he “tried to burn anything he could think of” in his apartment in order to spend the night in “prison” away from his neighbors, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

When police arrived at the multi-story, multi-family complex at 5904 Osuna NE a little before 10 p.m. they found minor fire damage, with four separate areas of origin, in one of the apartments.

When the officer asked Cook, the apartment’s tenant, to tell him about his day, Cook said “I started the fires in my apartment,” according to the complaint.

“He stated that he heard people having sex upstairs and making a lot of noise,” the officer wrote in the complaint. “Mr. Cook stated that by starting the fires he could go to ‘prison’ and get away from the noise.”

So the officers took him to the county jail, charging him with arson.

Cook’s father, David Cook, said his son suffered from a stroke seven years ago that left him mentally impaired.

“They had to remove part of his brain,” David Cook said. “He’s not in control of the things he thinks. It was not something that he planned.”

Nataura Powdrell-Moore, a jail spokeswoman, said Reuben Cook was released on his own recognizance Tuesday.

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